Position Paper Format
|A position paper presents an arguable opinion about an issue. The goal of a position paper is to convince the audience that your opinion is valid and worth listening to. Ideas that you are considering need to be carefully examined in choosing a topic, developing your argument, and organizing your paper. It is very important to ensure that you are addressing all sides of the issue and presenting it in a manner that is easy for your audience to understand.
|Issue Criteria: To take a side on a subject, you should first establish the “arguability” of a topic that interests you. Ask yourself the following questions to ensure that you will be able to present a strong argument:
Analyzing an Issue and Developing an Argument
Once your topic is selected, you should do some research on the subject matter. While you may already have an opinion on your topic and an idea about which side of the argument you want to take, you need to ensure that your position is well supported. Listing out the pro and con sides of the topic will help you examine your ability to support your counterclaims, along with a list of supporting evidence for both sides. Supporting evidence includes the following:
Once you have made your pro and con lists, compare the information side by side. Considering your audience, as well as your own viewpoint, choose the position you will take. In considering the audience, ask yourself the following questions:
Who is your audience?
Below is a generic format for a position paper:
II. Counter Argument
III. Your Argument
___A. Assert point #1 of your claims
___B. Assert point #2 of your claims
___C. Assert point #3 of your claims
You will need at least three sources for your argument but the more the better. We are looking for peer review articles, if available.
Position papers are to be two pages, single-spaced following the format above. One separate page for references in APA format, single-spaced.
Position Paper Grading Scheme
1 point for your Introduction
1 point for Counter Argument
1 point for your Argument
1 point for your Conclusion
1 point for Overall Quality (to include APA citations)